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Thursday 29 May 2008


Oh God, it's Northside. I was going to write off May as a bit of a washout, it's been a long month with various crap, capped off with the laptop I use to copy the music on this page playing silly fuckers. But then I found a tune flitting in and out of my head that I guess I heard on a radio in passing and I couldn't shake it. Nor, I have to say, could I work out what it was; all I could remember was the odd snatch here and there and half a chorus. Then I found out. It was Northside. And not Shall We Take A Trip?

No, it was this; the add-it-to-the-list-of-Ian-Broudie-produced Northside - Take 5. If only it had been Dave Brubeck.

Now, Northside divide opinion like few other of the 1990s Manc-indie-dance-flare-wearing-sub-Mondays groups. I don't mind them in a "haha! I remember that! (now) way", but not everyone would be prepared to spend £1.99 on the 7" and still own it. I'm sorry.

The Wiki says, rather sterily (is that a word?):

"Northside are a band from Oldham, England that borrowed heavily from the Madchester scene of the time...Formed in 1989, they released their only (and well respected) album Chicken Rhythms on Factory Records in 1991...Northside were considered a real goup of the 1990's scene."
Should you want more, and I'll understand if you don't, there's a Myspace page and a Facebook group (what sort of knob has one of those..?) Ahem.

Anyway, probably most famous for Shall We Take A Trip? the band actually released three singles, the above being the last, and an album. Hands up who owns that!

Sod, it, enjoy the Dave Brubeck jazz-lite number as well.

Oh, and you can buy the "Best" of Northside here.


  1. I bought this as a library chuckout for 75p in the mid 90's and sold it on Ebay in 2001 for £35

  2. *cough*

    I own the album. Possibly the most hilariously bad I have ever bought (Woolworths' bargain bin in Septermber 1991, in case you were wondering), though I do still quite like the singles.

  3. Anonymous30 May, 2008

    'shall we take a trip' was the title music for 'Granada Soccer night' 100% FACT!

  4. Anonymous31 May, 2008

    Whilst on holiday in San Francisco we went to an indie night called 'Leisure' and they played Take Five. I couldn't believe Northside had made it to the other side of the Atlantic.

    I later found out that this track actually made No.1 in the Canadian top 40 (the proper one, not the college one!), before being knocked off the top by 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. Another 100% FACT.

    My brother reliably informs me that 'drumming for Northside' is still used in some parts of Manchester as a euphemism for being unemployed...

  5. Have you ever come across a group (circa 1992) called Death By Crimpers? I know they released at least one single...

    There was also a band around the same time called Krunch, with a singer that bore a resemblance (though not a striking one)to Annabella Lwin. No idea if they released anything, but they did rate more than a few photos in Siren magazine.

  6. Hi Kolaboy. I have got a copy of a/the Death by Crimpers single. I keep meaning to put them on here, but every time I listen to it I think "aaargh, goth!" and put it back in the pile again...

    I'm sure I'll put them up at some point, I've put worse on!

  7. Anonymous03 June, 2008

    I had a northside t-shirt until about two years ago that i was keeping in the vague hope that somebody would have a 'madchester' fancy dress party and I could defeat allcomers with my authentic garb. On the front was the cover off the 'shall we take a trip' single. i charity-shopped it with a load of other stuff when moving house - it was stretched to fuck and had sweat stains in the armpits. Should have ebayed it, some canadian would have paid a truckload for it.

  8. aw Northside, how could we forget! loved the singles, well two of them, can't remember a third?

    Possibly uninteresting fact: I was reminded of the band Northside last year when dating a guy called Matt who claimed to have gone to school with the band and to have played guitar with said band post album (brief) era I think it was. I have however been unable to find evidence for this. Not tried very hard though. He was a bloody good guitarist and I chose to believe him. hey ho.

  9. Ah.

    I am quite ashamed by admitting this, but for a while, and most definitely pre-itemised receipts, my mates and I - being skint teens - had a scam going.

    It ran something like this. You bought an album from HMV legitimately, and the following week, you take another back to the shops with some excuse that got it for your birthday and didn't want it / already had it etc - with the idea of getting something new that week you couldn't afford in exchang for something you didn't want. For sure, back then it seemed like there was always something new out that had to be heard.

    One week, a pal of mine was trying this scam with his old copy of Chicken Rhythms. Of course, the HMV guy just laughed at him, because no way, 'we haven't sold a copy of that in ages'.

    Oh well.

    And as refreshing as Take 5 sounded at the time, it's pretty awful now innit? In fact, everything they did was awful. Still bought it all mind...

  10. I still have a Take5 Northside T-shirt bought at Norwich UEA for £7!!! Its faded but still in shape and along with a Mega City Four 1990 tour t-shirt and a Kingmaker Eat Yourself Whole one they have been my longest standing items of clothing.

    I liked Northside and have a soft spot for the album, but i saw them live twice and Dermo couldnt sing for Toffee!!!!

  11. This tune that was flitting in and out of your head - are you sure it wasn't Boston's "More Than A Feeling"? I seem to remember more than one review of Take 5 mentioning that song, back in the day.

    I've got this on 7", My Rising Star on cassingle(1) and Shall We Take A Trip/Moody Places on 12" - no idea why I was such a format slut as far as Northside were concerned. I did have Chicken Rhythms on LP too, but would you believe somebody stole that from my bedroom whilst I was having a party at my parents house. Chicken Rhythms was shit, but I used to like that instumental "Yeah Man!" off it. Hey, I was 15!

    An instrumental version of Shall We Take A Trip was indeed used as the theme for Granada Soccer Night. In addition to that, an instrumental of Moody Places was used as the theme for their live matches on a Sunday.

    In fact, Northside are the third band I've come across on this blog so far that contributed theme tunes to Granada programmes. The Wendys did the theme of "Taylor And McMenemy", a series of interviews with the recently departed England football management team (not sure what track though, would love to find out). Intastella contributed "People" to Granada's Saturday lunchtime Chart Show primer "yoof" show "Express", hosted by one Johnny Dangerously, aka John Bramwell out of I Am Kloot. I kid you not, I have VHS evidence!

  12. I don't mind Northside. Pulled up Chicken Rythmns on my ipod today after stumbling across this blog and to be honest the album aged better than the Happy Mondays who now 21 years later sound absolutely terrible and outdated. Some of the Northside songs sound okay today. It sucks that Madchester bands got killed in the media - as alot of good music came from that scene.